Jeremy Clarkson, Richard Hammond and James May will be back in a two-part Top Gear Patagonia Special, on a road trip through South America.
The Top Gear Christmas Specials are famous for two things: putting cars through immensely tough challenges, and not being ready in time for Christmas. This year though, not only will it be transmitting at roughly the right time, it also features the most gruelling car exploits yet, as the boys take three V8 sports cars on a 1600 mile trek through Patagonia.
The usual habitat for a Porsche 928, a Lotus Esprit and a Ford Mustang is the civilised world of tarmac, but in the hands of Jeremy, Richard and James, these three sports bred machines face swamps, deserts, forests, beaches and ski slopes as they try to get to the southernmost city in the world, in order to stage an epic game of car football against Argentina. Along the way there are broken bones, epic backdrops, mechanical calamities and cows, plus a climax that wasn't exactly the one that was expected.
James May’s Toy Stories
In perhaps the most challenging Toy Stories so far, James attempts to rehabilitate one of Britain’s most derided toys by seeing if it’s possible for Action Man to do what no toy has ever managed - and travel faster than the speed of sound.
For decades, Action Man, despite his name, has been a disappointment. He promised so much with his eagle eyes, his gripping hands and his natty outfits. But what has he ever achieved? Nothing...yet.
After half a century lazing around the back of the toy cupboard, he must prove that he has The Right Stuff, redeem his shattered reputation and boldly go where no Toy has gone before.
The challenge is daunting. Breaking the sound barrier and returning Action Man safely to the earth will test James and the team to the limit.
In an action-packed series of attempts, James battles high speed physics, unforeseen explosions and catastrophic design setbacks (which account for a large number of Action Man volunteers) before settling on an experimental supersonic vehicle made entirely from scratch - a vehicle that threatens to send Action Man and the team into oblivion.
In a gripping final act, Action Man must not only succeed and survive intact, but go faster and higher than a rival supersonic attempt led by his arch nemesis: Sindy.
Will Action Man redeem himself? Will he survive Mach 1? Or will he lose out to a doll?
The Wrong Mans
The action-packed comedy thriller sees our two hapless heroes Sam and Phil in deeper, darker danger than ever before, as they embark on a dangerous international quest to prove once again they are The Wrong Mans.
Having earned their status as hometown heroes in the first series, Sam and Phil are blasted back to zero again. Now 4,000 miles from home, Phil is relishing the chance to reinvent himself, but Sam pines for his old life. But some distressing news from back home forces them to make a difficult choice: hide in the shadows and be forgotten forever or brave it in a world that doesn't even know they are alive. First there’s just the small issue of busting out of a high-security Texan jail.
After asking for help in all the wrong places, the boys soon discover that the road to Bracknell is longer and more perilous than they imagined, and it looks ever more unlikely they will get home in time for Christmas and reclaim their lives.
Vic And Bob's House Of Fools
It's Christmas Eve in Vic and Bob's House of Fools, and Vic and Beef can’t wait to get the party started. But Bob's celebrations are cut short when the special present he organised for his sulky son Erik is unexpectedly engulfed in flames.
To find a suitable replacement they join Julie and Bosh on an underground boat journey to none other than pop icon Phil Collins' mansion.
A final surprise awaits them when Santa appears on the scene to save the day.
Tigers About The House - What Happened Next
In this two-part follow up, we catch up with Spot and Stripe as they approach their first birthday and impending adulthood. With teenage rebellion building, surrogate dad and tiger expert Giles Clark has his hands full guiding them from adolescence into the realm of ‘big’ tigers, while Spot faces uncertainty about his eyesight and his relationship with Stripe.
With tigers facing extinction in the wild, the Clark family make a big decision in an effort to safeguard Spot and Stripe’s wild cousins - it’s time to hit the road!
Giles’s wife Kerri and nine year-old son Kynan join him on the road trip of a lifetime through Indonesia, where they see first-hand the challenges facing tigers in their natural home in the rain forests of Sumatra. The family gets up close and personal with some of the jungle’s most iconic species, from orangutans and elephants to tigers.
Giles and his family have to get back to Australia Zoo so Giles can continue his hands-on relationship with the cubs, but not before he donates two new vehicles to the tiger protection unit, vehicles paid for by Spot and Stripe’s activity at the zoo. And Giles’s ambition doesn’t end there. He vows to set up a wild tiger rehabilitation unit in Sumatra with the ambition to release wild tigers maimed by snares and injured by persecution back to the wild.
The Snow Wolf Family And Me
Gordon Buchanan gets closer than ever before to a wild wolf pack for a brand new Natural History Unit series for BBC Two. The Snow Wolf Family And Me will explore the lives and habits of arctic wolves, revealing the family secrets of one of our most feared predators.
Presented by wildlife cameraman Gordon Buchanan, this series will give us an incredible insight into wolf family life, as he attempts to be accepted by a wild wolf pack.
Gordon’s wolf family live near the North Pole in one of the most remote and beautiful places on Earth. This is the only place in the world where wolves are naïve to man and have no fear, allowing Gordon an unparalleled opportunity to form bonds with a wild wolf family, revealing the remarkable story of their relationships.
Rik Mayall: Lord Of Misrule
Comedian Rik Mayall died suddenly on 9 June this year. His blend of rocket-fuelled physical comedy, surrealism, subversive satire and pompous punk wit left a body of work that spanned four decades.
Mayall’s characters include the Black Country’s investigative nerd Kevin Turvey; Felicity Kendall-adoring student and ‘Peoples Poet’ Rik in The Young Ones; ruthless MP Alan B’Stard in The New Statesman; seedy violent loser Richie in Bottom; and larger-than-life characters Robin Hood and flying ace Lord Flashheart from Blackadder.
Narrated by Simon Callow, Rik Mayall: Lord Of Misrule salutes Rik Mayall and celebrates his part in the UK’s comedy history, using rare and unseen archive footage, and talking to the people who knew or admired him: including Michael Palin, Simon Pegg, Lenny Henry, Ben Elton, Alexei Sayle, Christopher Ryan, Tim McInnerny, Jools Holland, Ruby Wax and Greg Davies.
Julie Walters: A Life On Screen
Spanning 40 years, this hour-long programme celebrates Julie’s incredibly successful career. Through interviews and clips, the story of this inspirational, hard-working and respected actor is told from her comedy beginnings in theatre through to her successes in television and film.
Contributors include Victoria Wood, with whom she took her first steps in television and who she worked with on many memorable shows; Willy Russell who wrote the famous Educating Rit’ and Rupert Grint, whose mother she played in the Harry Potter films.
Mock The Week Christmas Special
Dara O Briain and the team serve up their traditional festive feast of fun in a laughter-packed Christmas special. Joined by the likes of Ed Byrne, Sara Pascoe and Josh Widdicombe, the regulars test out Christmas products, reminisce about yuletide visits to A & E, a long living goldfish and harps. There's also the customary out-takes reel, a seasonal Scenes We'd Like To See and Hugh Dennis voicing a royal newsreel.
Never Mind the Buzzcocks
The twelfth episode in the 28th series of the anarchic pop quiz. This week host Rhod Gilbert and regular team captains Noel Fielding and Phill Jupitus are joined by X-Factor judge Louis Walsh, Sex Pistol Glen Matlock, comedian Lloyd Langford and Melissa Steel for a Christmas-themed show.
QI No L
Stephen Fry introduces the QI Christmas Special – and a very special guest. With Carrie Fisher, Bill Bailey, Phill Jupitus and Alan Davies.
Charlie Brooker’s 2014 Wipe
Charlie Brooker returns for his annual round-up of the year, which as usual was depressingly devoid of good cheer. Whether it's news, film, telly or Twitter, expect the pointless absurdity of life to get the full Brooker treatment.
Charlie will look back on a relentlessly grim year where the cheeriest stories were people throwing ice over themselves, couples consciously uncoupling and an installation of poppies marking the untimely death of millions of young men.
The Choir: New Military Wives
Choirmaster Gareth Malone is back. He thinks the Military Wives are the perfect choice to launch the Nation’s centenary commemorations of the outbreak of World War One, and he’s pulling together a new Military Wives super-choir to stage a very special Prom, in association with the National Theatre’s Warhorse team. It’s three years since Gareth formed the first military wives choir; since then, the organisation has mushroomed with over 80 choirs and 2000 members around the globe, and Gareth sets out to audition as many of them as possible for his 100 strong choir.
As the gruelling rehearsals get under way Gareth discovers that the wives’ dignity, in the face of the ever-constant threat to their loved ones, is as strong as ever, and the wives discover powerful parallels with their counterparts 100 years before them. The first episode culminates in an emotional performance at RAF Brize Norton for some of Britain’s last deployment of troops to return from Afghanistan.
In the second episode Gareth works the wives harder than ever, as they prepare to share the stage of the Royal Albert Hall with some of the world’s top professional musicians on 3 August - the eve of the day that Britain entered WW1. The repertoire forces the wives to confront their own vulnerability, and one of the serving wives makes the momentous decision to leave the Armed Forces. This episode culminates in Gareth and his 100-strong amateur choir giving the most consummately professional and emotionally engaged performance at the Proms.
Carols from King's
This year's traditional and greatly-loved celebration of the birth of Christ marks the 60th anniversary of the programme’s first broadcast. For many viewers this glorious interweaving of Christmas words and music from the candlelit, fan-vaulted splendour of King's College Chapel, Cambridge, is the true start of Christmas.
The world-famous choir, directed by Stephen Cleobury, sing well-loved carols including Stille Nacht, The Lamb, and In The Bleak Midwinter (Holst) and includes carols which were sung in the first broadcast: Up! Good Christen Folk And Listen; and The Three Kings. As in 1954, the programme begins as a solo chorister sings the first verse of Once In Royal David's City.
Members of the College tell the story of the first Christmas in the words of the King James Bible and through poems by Christina Rossetti and Nathaniel Wanley, and in a special remembrance of the first Christmas of the Great War, a letter from a soldier at the front in December 1914.
Kiss Me, Kate Prom
The appearance of John Wilson and his orchestra has become one of the annual highlights of the Proms. Following the enormous success of the staged performance of My Fair Lady in 2012, John Wilson returns to perform Cole Porter’s Tony Award-winning musical Kiss Me, Kate in its original 1948 arrangements. He is joined by a cast of leading singers in this irreverent reworking of The Taming Of The Shrew – a play within a play.
War Horse Prom
A Prom inspired by the National Theatre’s play based on Michael Morpurgo’s novel, featuring a new suite created by Adrian Sutton from his score for the original production, as well as other music from the period with performers including the Proms Military Wives Choir and Gareth Malone.
Sir Tim Rice: A Life In Song
Recorded live in July at the Royal Festival Hall, Sir Tim Rice reminisces in the company of Michael Grade, looking back over 40 years at his hit songs that have conquered the world. Hear the stories behind some of his best-loved work, from Jesus Christ Superstar to Evita, Chess and The Lion King.
On the concert platform are stars including Tim Minchin, Sophie Ellis Bextor, Alexander Armstrong, Gemma Arterton, Rob Brydon, Laura Mvula, Tom Chaplin and Rufus Wainwright. Accompanied by the BBC Concert Orchestra, conducted by Mike Dixon.
That Day We Sang
That Day We Sang, written and directed by Victoria Wood, is a musical set in Manchester, 1969. It’s the story of Tubby (Michael Ball) & Enid (Imelda Staunton), two lonely middle-aged people who grab a second chance at life, reconnected by the power of music. They meet at a reunion of the Manchester Children’s Choir who made the iconic Columbia recording of Nymphs and Shepherds in 1929. Tubby and Enid’s faltering romance is interweaved with the story of Jimmy, a member of the choir whose love of singing transcends his difficult home life. As we go between Tubby and Jimmy, their stories collide, and they must somehow find each other.
Co-stars: Daniel Rigby, Conleth Hill, Malcolm Sinclair, Harvey Chaisty, Sophie Thompson, Dorothy Atkinson, Lyndsey Marshal, and Jessica Gunning.